NBC's 'America's Got Talent' reveals the third season's Top 5 acts
By John Bracchitta, 09/19/2008
America's Got Talent's third season revealed its Top 5 performers during Thursday's live broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.
Following performances of the Top 10 acts on Wednesday's show, host Jerry Springer said Top 5 would be decided solely by home viewer votes and no longer incorporate any last-spot decisions from judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff.
"You watched and you voted. Millions of you had your say." Jerry told the audience. "Tonight we reveal your Top 5, and I can promise you some very major shocks."
Jerry then revealed that Nuttin But Strings, a hip-hop violin duo comprised of 21-year-old Damien Escobar and his 23-year-old brother Tourie Escobar, would be advancing to the Top 5. The Jamaica Queens, NY brothers' advance meant The Wright Kids -- a Rocky Mount, VA sibling trio comprised of 12-year-old Sage and her brothers 9-year-old Baruch and 6-year-old Levi -- were being sent home.
As David mouthed "good job" to the kids following their elimination, Jerry comforted them before introducing a video montage of their performances throughout the competition.
"It was great having you," he said. "You're spectacular. America fell in love with you."
For the second spot in the top five, Jerry told the audience that Queen Emily, a 40-year-old soul singer from Stockton, CA, would continue in the competition, while Joe Hall, a 23-year-old Elvis impersonator from Lincoln, NE, was being sent home.
"We have loved having you on the show," Jerry told Joe. "You have been an inspiration."
Following a performance by singer Natasha Bedingfield, Jerry brought forward Neal E. Boyd, a 32-year-old opera singer from Silkeston, MO, and Kaitlyn Mahar, a 4-year-old singer from Ashburn, VA.
While Sharon watched in shock -- knowing that only one of the two acts would be moving on -- Jerry revealed that Neil had moved on and young Kaitlyn had been eliminated.
"You are the best memory of this show ok?" Jerry told Kaitlyn following the montage of her performances. "We'll see you next year?"
For the competition's fourth spot in the finals, Jerry revealed that Donald Braswell, a singer from San Antonio, TX, had advanced while Paul Salos, a 70-year-old Frank Sinatra impersonator from Dallas, TX, was being sent home.
"You have been a great inspiration, not only to the people of our generation, but all people," Jerry told Paul as his wife looked on in tears.
For the final spot in the Top 5, Jerry brought forward Jessica Price, a 24-year-old singer from Freeport, MI, and Eli Mattson, a 26-year-old pianist-singer from Chicago, IL. After a prolonged wait, Jerry revealed that Eli had claimed the fifth spot in the finals and Jessica had been eliminated as scattered boos were heard throughout the crowd.
After Jerry told her that she'd come very close to remaining in the competition, Jessica said she was still thankful for the crowd that supported her throughout the show.
"I just wanna thank America for getting me this far," she said. "I never even thought I'd get this far, so thank you."
The Top 5 acts will perform during America's Got Talent's next broadcast, which will air on Wednesday September 24 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.